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英子

*snapshot6

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忍受不了   忍不住

“You see, , I do not shudder to take the cold and fatal cup, from which I shall drink the frenzy of death. Your hand gave it to me, and I do not tremble. — Goethe  (The Sorrows of Young Werther)

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In Aranjuez, place of dreams and love
Where crystal fountains murmur
Gardens whisper to roses

In Aranjuez, leaves dry without colour
Swept by the wind
Are memories you and I once had
Forgotten now without reason

In Aranjuez, love hides in the sunset
In the breeze, in the flowers
Waiting your return

In Aranjuez, my love
You and I

***

When will I be home?

Among the cypress where I lay…

英子

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Najib and MCA’s EGM

Although addressed to MCA delegates in the party’s proposed EGM, this letter is in English so that the Malays can read it as well.

Comrades 马华 同袍,

Political, economic, financial, inter-racial and legal events of recent years have now come to a head. This congruence of events places the MCA in an unenviable situation almost without parallel in the party’s recent past, affecting in its turn Malaysia’s future direction and its welfare. The outcome from some of these affairs will have profound implications on the party’s standing, its continued viability as a part of Malaysia’s governing body, its responsibility to that and to Malaysians in general. In short, the people’s confidence in the party.

In the circumstances, and should the present leadership be unwilling, the EGM should resolve the following:

Barisan Nasional: We’ve recently received final confirmation from the Attorney-General that at various times and through various transactions, monies totalling more than MYR 2 billion were deposited in the personal bank accounts of the Honourable Prime Minister Mr Najib Razak. Of course, many questions, doubts and much skepticism remain. And all that is precisely the point: In this situation, is it tenable, ethical — even legal, if we are to stretch the arguments — for Mr Najib to remain, where MCA is concerned, as the functioning head/chairman of Barisan Nasional. The party as a Barisan founding member has this obligation, indeed duty, to reassess that position.

Umno: Of course, with a complete reassessment, political tumult may result. Or may not. But the consequences otherwise is still calamity, already lurking beneath the surface. Other parties will boil this affair until its end not because they have in their means to do so nor because people go out to invite trouble — nobody wants that. The intrinsic quality and character in the present set of problems is its own rotting state, hence the smell.

Whenever there is controversy, particular when it is related to Umno, the MCA buries its head in the sand. This silence is a pretense. It pretends that, in the present situation, this is an Umno-only problem, that it will pass like all good things with the bad. If this is still the attitude, then give up politics, go home, watch TV, raise kids and mind your own business. Such an option is still defensible. The problem is this: when the denouement comes, when the truth eventually prevails, and the dust settles, our Malay, Umno friends are going to ask us: Where were you? At that point, you must be able to confidently answer, we were on the side of the virtuous.

Mr Najib Razak: Is his position as prime minister still tenable? To answer that question depends, of course, on answering whether he is still president of Umno. The arguments presented above show that the automatic flow of one official position to the next has already been seriously compromised. Should delegates decide either way, live with it.  小洞不补,大洞吃苦。

However, a thorough reassessment is straightforward: the cash deposits and, associated with it, 1MDB, is not a political issue nor a party issue. Not any more certainly. Although various parties and individuals have drawn political capital from these affairs — which is to be expected in a democracy — the meat of the issue is its ethical dimensions. From ethics flow political obligation, personal accountability and social responsibility. This means that, even if you ignore the legality, you, as delegates, cannot ignore the overall national duty that ethical obligations demand. If Mr Najib will not himself act then delegates have the responsibility, for the greater good and in your conscience, to act on his behalf. You have the facts before you and those withheld from you. Please decide.

读万卷书不如行万里路。

小弟

 

 

Ultra Confessions

This essay in letter form should be read alongside the earlier post, Malaysia: A diaspora nation of diaspora peoples. This shall be one of the last posts on this site.

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Dear Annie,

Before anything else, let me confess, I’m exhausted; really, really tired. I’ve this foreboding I can’t go on, I’m finished, and I’m not going to make it past chunjie but your most recent post about butterfly and curry puff (hardly a matching pair), has prompted me to make this effort. Last one, I say to myself.

I shouldn’t be writing to you like this, out in the open. But since the digital age, all the old communication rules are gone and we’d have to make our own. Besides, isn’t a blog an accounting of our thoughts? And you yourself have said one should write from the heart. More important than all that, is, I believe, we can share this — that which I wish to say is not a secret after all — with friends and comrades, far and near, your readers mostly.

True, it is nice to have an audience. But if the number of page views is the yardstick for quality and profundity, one might as well run a porn site: you’d get millions of eyeballs within a month. This says as much about the people who operates a site as those who visit it: one is known by the company one keeps.

In compliance with your prohibition, I shall name that Hellish, Loveless, Angst of a fat woman (hereafter, HLA). She brags about page views as a measure of her popularity, but to score with page views is not a difficult task. What HLA runs is essentially a racist-porn site whose fans delight in seeing her day in, day out stripping off her covers then masturbate in front of them her bigotry. It feeds their fantasies, with fans like one Shamshul Anuar so that, not by coincidence, they’re, by all appearances, mostly male fans. If HLA is paid for the job then she, on point of principle, isn’t much different from, say, the work of Maria Ozawa.

You may think these harsh words. That’s only because metaphors have a way of conveying reality and veracity better than the banality of words. HLA’s use of language might be oblique and so are greatly more dishonest and false than they should be taken seriously.

For a number of reasons, I think, people like Ahirudin Attan is enamored by her. One, is the old boys’ network — reporters tended to stick together regardless. Another reason is aptitude similarity: they actually share the idea that chilly-spicy writing (Ahi’s words) is therefore clever thinking. Yet, if they spend all their entire adult life copying and regurgitating the words of others how can they produce anything original or even just to think credibly and independently?

What we have instead is a bunch of pseudo literate minds who have never before, anywhere else seen better work, other than each others hack writing. But reporters, of course, regard themselves as a specie above everybody else — the movers and shakers of public opinion, they say of themselves. Never get on their wrong side, you’re warned, or else…. Thus, they are permitted to criticized but not to be criticized in turn. The Internet, with its self-publishing capability, completely threw their world upside down and undermined their egos.

All this explains why people like HLA are good at ad hominem attacks and nothing else because that’s easy. To make a reasoned argument or engage in an analytical debate requires training and a whole lot of effort, which they have none nor the patience to master any and also because the Malaysian public, online or off, is not demanding of such standards. Racist political blogging is infinitely much more easier: label your enemy, marshal all those on your side, and fire away. Hence, you find gangs like Ahi-HLA-KMU coming together to say the most appalling things, all of which, without exception I must add, are patently wrong or false on a number of grounds.

Take some current examples. The BBC recently quoted some ‘Saudi source’ to say that money went to Najib Razak to support moderate Muslims win elections against hardened extremists like the Muslim Brotherhood. Ahi’s conclusion: Najib was telling the truth after all, (a) money was a donation and (b) it was to fight Islamic extremism. Ahi’s conclusion is so patently stupid — from both logical deduction and from empirical fact — as to be unbelievable, but then he compels you step back and say this: What can one expect from reporters, especially from someone who prides himself as a doyen of the media fraternity?

HLA is like this as well. She would pull some report or some quotation in order to prove a point in her racial prejudices. Example: She cited a list of the top richest in Malaysia wherein 17 or 16 were Chinese. Her conclusion: Umno had allowed the Chinese to get rich yet so ungrateful are the Chinese they’d stab Najib in the back, such as at Bersih4. This is so bizarre and so incredulous a judgement you have to wonder: What on earth has she in her brains? Forget the empirical but just on account of HLA’s logicism consider this: If the Chinese are rich because of Umno then it must be true as well the Malays are poor, in not making it to the Top 20, because of Umno. See the flip side of her perversity? So stupid is the argument, yet her readers buy it and cheer her on. Why? They like it, watching her masturbate with her bigotry sticks.

Life is too short to dwell on HLA and I sense you are right to pick a lesson from the butterfly — and the curry puff.

HLA has repeated your label that the authors at shuzheng are a ‘Chinese ultra’, whatever that means, but with its implied pejorative — the Chinese are racist. Note that I’ve at no point challenge that label. On point of personal character, I don’t have HLA’s vindictiveness, much less to get work up at every piece of accusation. On point of fact, the Internet is full of such things, enough to keep a whole life busy every second, and it would be a thankless task chasing after every shadow.

It is true, of course, that shuzheng is China-centric, and this is as close as a Chinese ultra definition you’d get. Shuzheng‘s authors began it as a blog in a climate and a politically-inspired mainstream culture that despised everything Chinese. This is so widespread that it has infected even the DAP when its second-echelon leaders move to top positions: Chinese is seen as clannish, racist, greedy, materialistic, backward, and voodoo. Hannah Yeoh is classic among the examples; HLA another.

Najib also sees Chinese through a racial Umno prism, as evidenced in his remark about a Chinese tsunami during the 2013 elections. That is, he thought that the Chinese vote like the Malays and they are anti-Umno because Umno is Malay. Not only is Najib wrong but every pundit and politician as well, counting Hannah and HLA. Just on the point of argument, ask yourself this: why does the most anti-Chinese Umno politician — namely Mahathir Mohamad — get the most Chinese votes? MCA has performed far better under Mahathir than any Umno leader before and after. Why?

Because the Chinese look at skin color to vote a leader or by listening to speeches? But these are nothing but outward manifestations. No; they look at character for the reason we, the Chinese, are raised to distrust external expressions such as race but to think on terms of a person’s virtue, meritocracy (getting things done) and actions. Malay thinking, I believe, is the opposite. Race first, morality next.

This way of thinking is not a matter of a ‘Chinese ultra’ perception but it is deeply rooted in Chinese psychology, history, ideas, philosophy (Confucianism/Daoism), politics, government, literature, culture in general. This is why in throwing money at the Chinese, Najib still fails. I won’t go into details, but take my word for it. Umno could have all the Chinese support if it could just produce one virtuous president, competent, fair, sensible and humble, all of which add up to only half of Mahathir’s character qualities.

My own despair is that MCA, even if it is willing to tell Umno this, cannot do anything about it: So much of Chinese votes is dependent on that one Umno leader. But Umno doesn’t operate on that principle: rather, it is who is most Malay and can defend Malay best.

The way of the Chinese thinking also underpins shuzheng’s approach to blogging so that what’s best for the Chinese is also the best for the Malays and our fates are mutually inclusive. For evidence, look no farther than the marriage of so many Chinese women to Malay men and Indians. Your own family for instance.

It would be foolhardy and idiotic to interpret those remarks to mean that all Chinese are good and all Malays are racist. HLA will do such a thing and attribute that to shuzheng; that is to be expected; you try to bridge the broken Melayu-Chinese relations in one post, she’d burn it down with ten.

Rather, in writing about Chinese thinking, I had hope you would look at Malay-Chinese relations from another starting point, away from those blogs, and away from the norm of the raw, prejudiced, unthinking Anglophile minds that dominate the pseudo literate English-speaking middle class of which RPK, HLA and Ahi are collectively representative.

I’m tired, Annie. I’ve to go.

Salam and Goodbye.

***

The Composite Malaysia; the Model Asean

Najib Razak has since through the 2.6 billion rounded the Islamo-Malay circle that began with PAS, Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir Mohamad, ABIM — in that order. The arrival of ISIS, exploding into Southeast Asia, is especially foreboding.

Because this Islamo-Malay culture is so well-advanced and so tightly knitted that severing the two components — Malay and Arabic Islam — would seem as improbable as blasphemous.  But Islamism, rooted in a desert, as opposed to tropical, riverine and ocean life from which Malays know so well is the exact anti-thesis of the originating Malay culture.

Perhaps there is still a way out if the Malays are indeed desirous to recapture their true ‘maruah‘ and so put an end to Najib’s miseries that he had self-inflicted on himself. Najib might have thought — fantasized actually — that he, a Bugis chieftain, represented true Malay culture once he subscribed to desert Arabic.

One way out of their predicament is for Malays is to turn back to Malaysian — not a fictitious Malay only — culture which, at its core, is rooted in the east of what is now the Indonesian archipelago, and this is true. But once the forefathers of these Malays left some remote rain-soaked islands in Indonesia their culture never stood alone, uninfluenced by the outside world and so unchanged.

Malaysia is so unique in the world, it bears repeating. 1Malaysia could have been such a model of that Malaysian culture, except that without thinking through what it entails (Najib’s fantasy, cited above), the idea would fail to gain traction inside the fabric of society.

Satu-Malaysia’s failure, for one, is that it was overwhelmingly political, improbable to conceive, therefore, without the umbilical cord of culture that was necessary to feed and nourish it.

Two, because it was political, 1Malaysia was overwhelmed by the dictates of a Malay, hence Umno, polity which has no space, none at all, to recognize the reality of Malaysia as a composite culture, embodying not just the diversity in the human, but also recognizing where those qualities were birthed that had produced, in its turn, the thing we call values. 1Malaysia could have been an amalgamation of such varied thoughts and ideas. Instead, in floundering, it has only propelled 1Melayu (Malay unity) to the fore, an idea that might be attractive to the like of PAS mullahs but it becomes entirely dependent on a tribal, desert Arabs and to whom Najib had turned to for nearly everything, money foremost, his soul, inspiration, even his international policies.

For a number of reasons, Malaysia as a composite culture or as composite idea of a national project would be a better way to preserve Malay culture, traditions, ethics and life.

A composite Malaysia becomes a natural defense mechanism from being overwhelmed by Arab Islamism which, fundamentally, is totalitarian, hegemonic and complete. Chinese culture, on the other hand, is introverted. It does not seek conversion, nor do the Hindu Indians and the mountain people of Gunung Tahan or Sarawak or Sabah. Then there is regional, East Asian commonality. For evidences to that fruitful amalgamation, look at the Peranakan in old Malacca. Look at Annie, of lifeofaannie blog. To begin with, we eat the same thing: rice….

But, to be a member of this Malaysian composite is not to be consigned to the fringe then left plastered on Visit Malaysia posters, any of which is false. It falsifies the Chinese contribution to the Malaysian project. Consider this statement, lifted from the web, and is regurgitated to no end: “The Malay culture itself is closely linked to Islamic culture.” This is patently false — Malay culture was remotely, not closely, linked — once you begin a historical definition of the Malay, of Islamic and of culture.

Islamo-Malay doesn’t assert Malay as Malaysian identity, not even as independent Malay. On the contrary it negates the roots and traditions of the Melayu.

A Malaysian composite supports an independent Malay identity, without the independence of which a composite cannot hold. But, decades of politicizing the Malay has come near to completely erode that identity. The Melayu now have to salvage what is left of themselves before, in rolling from one PM to the next, from one Umno to the next, the Melayu is driven to a self-annihilation until they are no more recognizable Malay.

Below are a series of photos as reminders of the Malaysian composite, to which the Melayu is a component and a main at that, one that is not hegemonic yet assertive and, in the modern-day word, democratic.

Farther below is the Selden map drawn by an unknown Chinese circa 1619, some say while the person was in Java. It is the first map of ASEAN in which, Malaysia sits right at the throat in this centre of the world between East and West. It especially helps tell the story of the evolution of Malaysia, Malays alongside Chinese. Explanations of the map are provided.

The actual, originating stuff of Malaysian life and culture: these life depictions can never be captured in Arabia, stream bathing, fire from bamboo, pretty yellow slit eyes, women dancing in the open.

Malay dancing in the old days: a bit boring but it is tradition and imagine the six-member assemble is taught to read music, given some modern instruments, and a new musical beat. They might just turn out like this…

The first map of Asean

Compare the present map, above, and the one below, produced 400 years earlier. Looks the same?

Immediately above is Asean plus China 400 years ago. Click on this link takes you to the Bodleian Library where the map is stored and available in digital format with zoom-in/zoom-out capability.

As with many Chinese historical artifacts, the name of the map cartographer is unknown, date unpublished, but now thought to be around 1619; there is not even a Chinese name although now called 《東西洋航海圖》 dōng xīyáng hánghǎi tú which translates as Map of East-West Maritime Navigation. Operative word is ‘navigation’ and we shall return to it shortly.

Bodleian Library gives the map title as, Selden Map of China which isn’t an accurate description but it will do. China is pictured up to its outer physical limits, Burma and India, and the Great Wall running all the way to what is now Afghanistan, Siberia to the north. But China is not the map’s centre. Look again, it’s the South China Sea, bordered today by the group of 10 countries we call ASEAN. Below is the Sea and Asean close-up.

Click on the link given above or look again closely at the map and you’d see numerous straight edged lines, alongside which are Chinese directional markings, referenced to a chrysanthemum-shaped compass (top of map). There are 18 such lines each scaled to a ruler, also provided on top. Those lines, shipping routes actually, end in 36 place names (those characters circled in red), 22 of which starts from a jumping off point in Fujian, a little south of Xiamen known as Quanzhou (Zheng He’s burial place). A Chinese wiki page on the map and its routes.

China scholars looking at the Selden map have identified the following places in the Peninsula, as well as giving them their present-day names. Singapore which in those days go by the Chinese name of 淡馬錫 danmaxi, Temasek today, is unrepresented.

  • ☉彭坊﹕即《諸蕃志》蓬豐﹑《南海志》朋亨。另有彭亨﹑邦項等稱﹐今馬來半島東南岸 的Pahang。
  • ☉吉礁﹕又作吉陀﹐今馬來西亞的吉打(Kedah)州。
  • ☉麻六甲﹕又稱滿剌加﹐今馬來西亞的馬六甲(Malacca)。

For the sake of brevity, we’ll conclude on the following points about the map’s significance to us, Malaysians:

  • Because it was drawn for a practical purpose, shipping, and not commissioned by some emperor to adorn a wall, it has this day-to-day, common man’s sense of reality, with relevance to an essential activity, regional trade.
  • Asean, a 100 years after the fall of Malacca to the Portuguese (1511), was a thriving region, the South China Sea being central. Europeans, including the Dutch and Spaniards, had command of statehood but not ordinary lives that went on indifferent to big power rivalry (Britain hadn’t come into the picture yet.) Imagine, for example, the Melayu forefathers in Indonesia buying porcelain bowls and silk cloth from Chinese in exchange for selling spices and bananas and ikan bilis. No Chinese conquest anywhere and no threats to freedom of navigation that Americans bellyache about China’s ‘assertiveness’ in the Spratlys.
  • The Chinese, Fujianese descendants of the Hokkein in Malaysia today, were great seafarers not unlike the Melayu forefathers arriving on Chinese or Indonesian junks in Pahang or Johore, the former contributing not just bowls but especially maritime technology, shipbuilding skills and metallurgy to refine their production of the keris that people like Hisham once threatened to use on the Chinese .
  • China, the Chinese, constitute a great part of Malaysian roots, a diaspora nation of numerous diaspora races, and not a fringe pendatang community living apart from the Melayu and therefore receiving no representation in projecting Malaysia to the world. There has been too much myth-making, too much historical lying, too much ignorance and too much cultivating needless antagonism against the Chinese for wanting to pull out Malaysia from under the Malay feet.
  • With writing, art, literature and map-making, the Chinese, further evidenced by this Selden map, had been giving names to places and people. With names come identity, such as manlajiaren — the people of Malacca — after that malairen or Malays then malaixiya, Malaysia. See the evolution of Malaysia beginning with the homophone word manlajia? One does not bestow identity to a community and after that take it away from them like what Najib Razak has insisted when talking about ‘maruah‘. This is absurd because giving identity recognizes the sovereignty of a group different from your own.

Malaysia and its neighbors 400 years ago, close-up.

The Truth of the Matter

Introduction

This is a long essay, around 3000 words, that attempts to do too much by bundling politics and law, ethics and humanity, and logic, linguistics (text analysis) with bits of epistemology (how do we know what we know). If you’re allergic to long postings, suggest breaking up the reading and return ten hours later to pick up from where you left off.

Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, French mathematician, physicist and philosopher who created the Pascal triangle, precursor to the binomial coefficient which has this modern-day notation  \tbinom nk. Other than maths and hydrodynamics, a Pascal contribution to the world is contained in The Provincial Letters (Lettres provinciales) where he attempted to demolish casuistry (from the Latin root word casus, or case), a form of reasoning, employed sometimes in jurisprudence, that takes rules of arguments in specific cases to make them universally applicable in new ones.

Today casuistry is a pejorative term to mean clever but unsound reasoning. In his statement on the Najib Razak case, the AG Apandi Ali employs casuistry. For example: Money when returned to the Saudis was made to lessen or to annul the gravity of corruption. This form of rule-setting argument makes severity in a corrupt deed dependent on a subsequent action after the fact. Imagine, therefore, the country’s top prosecutor relying on this rule to decide, in the future, whether or not cases go to court.

More than exonerating Najib, Apandi’s arguments in his statement has such far-reaching implications.

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The Past as Future

What Now, Apandi?

Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali is a man who would — and could — move mountains, and quickly too. From since the time in August he took up the AG post Apandi’s advise to Najib Razak was to clear his money problems fast rather than sit on them and watch arrows shot at him. True enough, within five months, this was a done deal: investigations, evidences, interviews, paper work, review, decision, re-submission, then Apandi’s ruling which, one is told, is final and irrefutable. Najib thanked him, and says, ‘let’s move on, shall we’ (see his statement, bottom).

“No, we won’t,” the People replied. The shouting outside Najib’s door continued into the night; maybe it will go away one day, he thinks, hopefully.

Imagine, therefore, Najib on the phone two days later with Apandi: “What now? You said semua selesai?”

Perhaps Najib misunderstood him or perhaps Apandi wasn’t clear enough: One is the Law, the other is the Truth. Both have eternal memories and demand equal attention. Had Najib settled for both, at the same time, and not One without the Other, perhaps, indeed, people could move on. Instead, things have only gotten worse: more doubts, more incredulity, more questions, more skepticism, cynicism, more scorn.

Yes, life is a bitch — even for kings and warriors.

The problem was in Apandi’s letter written as a statement of reply to the MACC.

History is never repeated. No; we were taught wrong not to repeat history which, on the first time, they say, is error and on the second is farce.

No; with each step we take today the past follows into the future. If so, how do you move on without the entrails of the past dragging from behind like a wretched tail of a dog you rather not have?

Did Apandi know that his statement, once conceived then let out, is also a piece of a history? After which, he has to drag it with him the rest of his life, with Najib in tow. So, move on, did you say? That’s a dead cliche, so banal that only the philistines repeat to no end, and also the uninitiated, the uncultured and the Anglophiles — never mind, Najib, your Saudi Islamism.

In any case, let’s return to the statements, one from Apandi, the other Najib’s. Did the Prime Minister’s Office had a hand in drafting the former’s statement because, after all, the AG reports to the Prime Minister? They read like one following the other, the past walking into the future. Here’s the comparison starting with Apandi, with his opening lines followed by his penultimate conclusion (their statements in full at the bottom):

I have thoroughly perused all the witness statements and the documents in the investigation papers as well as the response given by MACC on my queries for clarification ….

Based on the facts and evidence as a whole, I, as the public prosecutor, am satisfied that no criminal offence has been committed by YAB PM in relation to the three investigation papers….

Najib:

I welcome the statement issued today by the Attorney General, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali. The findings followed a thorough investigation by the relevant institutions, and he has confirmed what I have maintained all along: that no crime was committed.

In referring directly to Apandi’s statement, Najib creates a distance — and an informality — between himself and the AG’s work. Then, as if pleading to the public, he adds: ‘I’ve been unjustly accused. Now, I’m vindicated.

In the AG, on the other hand, Apandi doesn’t refer to Najib nor does he speak direct to the public. Instead the statement reads like it was an inter-department memo, minus the little courtesies. Then there is the giveaway form of address — using the first person pronoun ‘I’ — indicating he had given his personal attention to the matter.

He is speaking to the MACC: ‘Thank you very much for your hard work and for so quickly re-submitting the investigation papers after the queries from my office. I have once again looked carefully and extensively at your papers but….

After the Task Force was disbanded last July, the MACC was the only authority left standing between Najib’s life in a locked cell and as free man. For six months or more, the MACC had left with the public the impression it would stake its entire reputation into uncovering wrong doings by Najib, if there was any.

Yet here is Apandi’s ultimate answer to MACC’s quest in 600 words and two pages: ‘You don’t have a case.‘ In formal language, this is Apandi, again, clearly addressing the MACC:

‘Based on the facts and evidence as a whole, I, as the public prosecutor, am satisfied that no criminal offence has been committed by YAB PM in relation to the three investigation papers. I will return the relevant investigation papers to MACC today with the instruction to close the three investigation papers.

(In that passage, note the difference in terms: Azalina Othman and other varied ministers say the AG reports to the government whereas Apandi calls himself the ‘public prosecutor’ as if he writes to the MACC on behalf of the public not the government. This is all very convenient: the name of People is invoked as callously as is God’s name.)

Of course, nobody, not Najib especially, had expected an outcome different from Apandi’s verdict. So, if the statement won’t appease the opponents, won’t cure the cynicism in the public at large, what then would be the point of it other than a formal closing of Najib’s money problems that Apandi had promised in the beginning?

Eight times in eight points of rebuttal to which the AG had referred to, he says this: ‘there is/are no evidence‘ to support any general charge of corrupt practices. In specific terms Apandi mentions two: (a) abuse of authority and (b) gratification.

This point-by-point explanation squeezed into 600 words is revealing into Apandi’s intent, addressed, clearly again, to the MACC in tone, language and substance: It isn’t that the AG isn’t independent or won’t prosecute. It is that you, the MACC, cannot find anything for me, Apandi Ali, the public prosecutor, to prosecute.

In a rephrasing of that, Apandi means to say, but put crudely: ‘If you want to nail Najib then show me proof. So, you’ve a mountain of papers but all are useless‘.

Subsequent accusations that Apandi’s statement makes no sense (S. Ambiga) could only have arisen because the MACC created those holes in their investigations then left it there. It is not for the AG to fill those holes.

MACC’s surreptitious reply was this, first made via Malaysiakini then Reuters: Apandi had said nothing about ‘criminal breach of trust’ and ‘criminal misappropriation’, the kind of charges liable under the Penal Code and recommended in the MACC papers.

MACC v The AG

Promise is Not Us to Keep

This way of looking at the AG in relation to the MACC raises interesting challenges. Some of them:

  • (a) If another government were to resurrect those cases, as PKR’s Rafizi Ramli has said it would, what then can a new investigation find that the MACC couldn’t, assuming the AG is correct?
  • (b) On those weak cases: What had the MACC been looking for that it couldn’t find? Had they been looking in the wrong places, or for the wrong things, deliberately or conscientiously? Or, were they led, like sheep, to the wrong places?
  • (c) Had Apandi deliberately misled the country by picking out only cases that were weak in order to exonerate Najib? If so, then the Najib’s problems in the future will simply feed off on the past, one thing rolling into the next. Najib’s problems will simply multiply, not diminish in spite of Apandi promise months ago.
  • (d) Two repercussions follow from the above: (i) this is the beginning of an inter-departmental tussle, perhaps even war, that would in its turn redefined the character of the public service — who do you serve? — and (ii)  Najib, if his intention is to buy silence, will have to, in the future buy off, not just one official but everyone.

All of which drags the entire civil service into the field of politics and so putting them under a microscope of public scrutiny, hitherto little seen or heard before.

In scrutinizing public service, consider Point (b) for example: Was Saudi Arabia the wrong place to look because, even if the MACC team succeeds in finding evidential proof, imagine, months later, standing a Saudi king to sit on the witness stand of an infidel court in Putrajaya? And then there is this other intractable problem: How do you prove abuse of authority or gratification for Najib in terms of lending Malaysian support, including suggested troop deployments, into a regional Shia-Sunni conflict?

Whichever way one looks at it, a domestic criminal matter thus expands into the foreign policy arena and, most ominously, military affairs.

On that basis above, note the following, unusual point somewhere in the middle of Apandi’s statement that was so clearly meant for the MACC:

…there is no necessity for Malaysia to make a request for a mutual legal assistance to any foreign States for the purpose of completing the criminal investigation by the MACC in relation to the said RM2.08 billion donation.

Restated, the Saudi government was far from co-operative. And why should they help on a domestic, criminal investigation? That is, the Saudis balked speaking to the MACC. Hence, when the MACC sought the assistance of the Foreign Ministry, perhaps through Apandi because different and separate legal jurisdictions are involved, it got nothing — and came out of there with nothing other than probably some wishy-washy Q&A statement.

As background, Saudi Arabia has been cultivating a Wahhabi-Sunni alliance against the Shia (found in Iran and Iraq most prominently) in the Middle-East and across North Africa. And it is to Saudi Arabia that Najib has needlessly gone numerous times as head of government. The ramifications of his actions have since been brought into Malaysia and for the country to suffer: an Umno alliance with PAS, a Wahhabi-backed polity and especially this, importing a distant conflict into the country — and Indonesia as well — through the Wahhabi-inspired, head-cutting ISIS terrorism.

As an aside note: Not only is Najib’s moral standing in question to lead Malaysia — or Umno — but it is his aptitude as well, both domestic and international. In so many areas of foreign policy conduct Malaysia will, on the whole, pay and suffer the price of responding incoherently and badly to the Middle East politics and wars, to Islamisation, Sunni v. Shia, South China Sea, the US, TPPA.

The point in all that says that the MACC’s chances of finding evidence of criminal conduct rested not on the MYR2 billion, assumed Saudi money, but rather the MYR42 million. On that far smaller sum, investigations took up two of the three mountain-sets of paper work.

Although easiest to defeat, Apandi still devoted half his arguments in half of his statement to the 2bn for the obvious reason that it has been the most widely played upon and most politically sensitive.

While Apandi’s statement showed that the 42mn attracted MACC’s most intense investigations, this was primarily because MACC had worked on charges under two sets of laws compared with one for the 2bn. The two sets being the Penal Code (abuse of authority, misappropriation and breach of trust) and the MACC Act (gratification, corrupt receipt).

Of the eight Apandi counterpoints — that there being ‘no evidence’ to support any charge — seven of them went for the 42mn. (Strangely, Apandi didn’t say, ‘insufficient evidence’. If there was no evidence, what on earth had the MACC being collecting the past few months? Garbage?)

For the MACC, however, the charges under the 42mn must have been more straightforward than the supposed Saudi 2bn because all the transactions in the smaller sum were local, without passing foreign currency and foreign financial institutions, so easier to extract witness and evidences.

In repeatedly saying that the MACC submissions lacked evidence, Apandi begs even more questions. This is because he is, by inference, saying that the MACC’s investigations had now produced one of the three following outcomes:

  • (a) MACC’s investigation, after months and much money spent, actually turn up with nothing or,
  • (b) the resulting paper work is full of holes, or
  • (c) the evidences were there, solid, but Apandi himself lied.

In his statement, Apandi is insisting on the first — otherwise he would have no justification to return the papers and demand for case to be closed.

But, what if it was either (b) or (c)? In that case, all hope of revisiting the case is lost unless there is a new head of government. Thus, Najib’s present situation is not unlike Taiwan’s Chen Shu-bian eight years ago. In spite of all its accumulated evidences to press charges, Taiwan’s prosecutor office waited years for Chen’s electoral defeat before moving in.

In short, politics will have to settle the issue of Najib’s money problems whereas Apandi’s idea had been to settle those problems in order to salvage the man’s political career. In a queer turn around of hopes, Apandi’s statement becomes now a new, potent opposition tool to defeat Najib. Semua selesai?  Not so fast indeed.

**

MACC Board Answers Apandi

The Reality of a Fiction

After the MACC Operations Review Panel sits down to deliberate on Apandi’s statement, here is how panel members should reply to Apandi, taking the two sums of monies together:

Was the Saudi royal family a donor of 2bn?

Ans: Donor or not, it doesn’t matter. Donation, in cash or kind, is considered a form of gratification, the defining word in the MACC Act.

Was the donation personal to Najib?

Ans: Again, it doesn’t matter to determine corruption. So long as money came in, which is confirmed and acknowledged by Najib by his returning USD820 of 861 million but keeping the balance.

Was 2bn given, according to Apandi, ‘without any consideration’ or ‘inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do anything in relation to his capacity as prime minister’.

Ans: It is not necessary to prove inducement or reward; it is enough that it was offered. Here is Apandi’s assumption: Najib is not investigated because he is prime minister nor because the transaction was personal in nature. He can be investigated acting as an agent of Umno, also a felony, to which he has confessed many times — political donation. Furthermore, in admitting the money as political donation he is confessing his agent’s role. It is enough money that was deposited in his account. The Saudi national can also be prosecuted as the giver to Najib the agent. In proceedings against the agent, ‘it is irrelevant that the agent had no power, right or opportunity to do, or to forbear from doing, the (corrupt) act in question, or that the act did not relate to the principal’s affairs or business.’

Najib was not aware and had given no approval that 42mn be deposited into his personal account.

Ans: Yet the money is there. Apandi’s assertion is also contradictory to Najib’s own declaration in his suit brought against Ling Liong Sik. In his court statement, Najib referred to Ling’s claim that SRC intermediaries, namely Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana, had deposited 42mn into Najib’s AmPrivate Banking account. Najib replied that he admits to receiving MYR42 mn. It is only that he didn’t know it had been ‘channelled through the two intermediaries’. Which says, in simply language, that for the money coming in, Najib knew; for that to be physically deposited requires no approval from bank account owner.

Apandi: Najib believed that all payments (inclusive the 42mn) to him were made from the donation received from the Saudi royal family.

Ans: This is a matter of court argument, that is, whether Najib then ‘believe’ or he is now making it convenient to believe. Belief is not a yardstick to prosecute. Besides, belief is an issue belonging to God, not to a man’s corruption.

Did Najib abused his position to approve the government guarantee on the MYR4 billion loan to SRC International from Kumpulan Wang Persaraan or KWAP, or Retirement Fund Inc. in the English?

Ans: In saying that there is no evidence that Najib abused his position, Apandi is equating abuse as an act independent of position, when in reality it is dependent on position. Abuse relies on position of power and influence which, at the material time, Najib was both prime minister and finance minister in charge of KWAP as well as SRC. The quantum of money lent is also indicative of abuse. Between Jan and Sep 2015, KWAP received in total contributions 2bn. Although the loan is repayable, 4bn equals a year-and-a-half of SRC total contributions; or, in commercial terms, a single loan to a single entity is 1.5 times of annual gross income. At this level, abuse is indicated since Najib has overriding authority on KWAP and should have stopped the loan instead of approving it.

There was nothing improper in the SRC loan approval process by the Cabinet.

Ans: Process might be proper and isn’t in question. It’s the conflict of interest in the approval that is in question.

The evidence as a whole does not disclose any conflict of interest on the part, and tied to which is that no evidence shows that Najib had solicited or was promised any gratification.

Ans: Again, the AG is acting as judge in deciding how or what the evidence show. And worse, he constrains the evidence. However, let the evidence show itself and not determine how it should be shown. Two things are clear cut, gratification in a money form is received and gratification provided to an “associate”, in which the MACC Act defines associate (a) a nominee or an employee of such person; (b) a person who manages the affairs of such person; (c) an organization or a corporation controlled by such person… Najib controls all, including Umno. Conflict of interest is by virtue of control in all.

Finally, Apandi: Based on the facts and evidence as a whole, I, as the public prosecutor, am satisfied that no criminal offence has been committed… in relation to the three investigation papers. I will return the relevant investigation papers to MACC today with the instruction to close the three investigation papers.

Ans: Two sums of monies USD861 million and MYR42 million are identical in quantity to allegations made during the early days (see diagram from Jebat below). Yet Apandi sees nothing and smells nothing.

*

The uses of money: Above billions in, millions out; below, garbage in, garbage out.

**

Statements from Apandi and Najib

*

by Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali

I have thoroughly perused all the witness statements and the documents in the investigation papers as well as the response given by MACC on my queries for clarification in relation to the investigation paper on the alleged RM2.6 billion and the two investigation papers in relation to SRC International which were returned to me by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

‘RM2.6 billion’

With regard to the investigation paper on the alleged “RM2.6 billion” which was transferred into the personal account of YAB PM, I am satisfied that based on the evidence from witnesses and supporting documents submitted to me by the MACC show that the sum of US$681 million (RM2.08 billion) transferred into the personal account of YAB PM between 22.03.2013 and 10.04.2013 is a personal donation to YAB PM from the Saudi royal family which was given to him without any consideration.

MACC in their investigation personally met and recorded statements from witnesses including the donor which confirm that the donation was given to YAB PM personally.

I am satisfied that there is no evidence to show that the donation was a form of gratification given corruptly. Evidence obtained from the investigation does not show that the donation was given as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do anything in relation to his capacity as prime minister.

Furthermore, in August 2013, a sum of US$620 million (RM2.03 billion) was returned by YAB PM to the Saudi royal family because the sum was not utilised.

Based on the evidence from witnesses and supporting documents submitted, I am satisfied that no criminal offence has been committed in relation to the said RM2.08 billion donation.

On the same matter, I am satisfied that as no criminal offence has been committed, there is no necessity for Malaysia to make a request for a mutual legal assistance to any foreign States for the purpose of completing the criminal investigation by the MACC in relation to the said RM2.08 billion donation.

SRC International

With regard to the two investigation papers on SRC International, I am satisfied that no criminal offence has been committed based on the following reasons:

Under the MACC Act 2009

There are no evidence to show that YAB PM has abused his position during the Cabinet meeting which approved the government guarantee on the RM4 billion loan to SRC International from Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP);

Evidence also show that the loan approval process by KWAP and the loan guarantee approval by the Cabinet were properly done;

There are no evidence to show that YAB PM had solicited or was promised any gratification from any party either before, during or after the Cabinet decision was made;

The evidence as a whole does not disclose any conflict of interest on the part of YAB PM; and

MACC itself admitted that based on their investigation, there are no evidence from the witnesses that could show that YAB PM had committed any act of corrupt practice.

Under the Penal Code

There are no evidence to show that YAB PM had any knowledge and/or was informed that monies had been transferred into his personal accounts from the account of SRC International;

There are no evidence to show that YAB PM had given any approval for the transfer of monies from the account of SRC International into his personal accounts; and

Evidence show that at all material times, YAB PM was of the belief that all payments which were made by him were made from the donation received from the Saudi royal family which was earlier transferred to his personal accounts.

Based on the facts and evidence as a whole, I, as the public prosecutor, am satisfied that no criminal offence has been committed by YAB PM in relation to the three investigation papers. I will return the relevant investigation papers to MACC today with the instruction to close the three investigation papers.

**

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER

26 January 2016

1. I welcome the statement issued today by the Attorney General, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali. The findings followed a thorough investigation by the relevant institutions, and he has confirmed what I have maintained all along: that no crime was committed.

2. I appreciate that political funding is a topic of concern to many people. That is why I first initiated political funding reform proposals in 2010. Unfortunately, these were blocked by the opposition at the time. However, I have instructed for them to be put forward again for discussion.

3. This issue has been an unnecessary distraction for the country. Now that the matter has been comprehensively put to rest, it is time for us to unite and move on.

4. I will now redouble my focus on the key issues that matter to Malaysia, especially combating the threat of terrorism, and strengthening the economy in the face of global headwinds.

YAB DATO’ SRI MOHD NAJIB

Malaysiakini, those poor journalists, they are puzzled and so wrote this about the anti-TPPA demonstration: ‘Gathering of strange, and estranged bedfellows’. Here is to help them do their job, to think….

The racist bigot Helen Ang equated Bersih4 to a Chinese, anti-Umno, therefore anti-Melayu affair. Najib Razak made Bersih4 equal to slapping Melayu maruah.

Now, Hadi Awang, along with ISMA, Perkasa and others, say TPPA, because it is sponsored by Americans (Najib, they’ll never say), is pro-Chinese, therefore anti-Melayu. To save then the Melayu is to be anti-TPPA, to fight the Chinese.

To recapitulate, here is the flow of Umno’s maruah, Helen Is-Not-Christian Ang logic:

  • Bersih4 = Chinese = Anti-Melayu
  • TPPA = Chinese = Anti-Melayu

Therefore,

  • Anti-TPPA = Melayu = Anti-Chinese

So the Chinese gets it — again — any which they turn. This explains why ISMA et al are all in it so that Najib will get away from the blame when the Melayu gets hit.

It is so perverse — even international power politics when it arrives in Malaysia gets a racist laundering — that there is only one reply left. And,

listen carefully, Abdul Hadi Awang: 肏你妈

It means, Hadi: Fuck your mother.

*

Dear Abdul Hadi Awang,

We, the Chinese, are sick and tired of getting blame for everything — everything. Now even the TPPA.

You shake the hands of that Bugis warrior arsehole, then you go against him, against his TPPA. And to do that, to find justification for your contradiction, you pick on the Chinese — again. (After which, wait for Helen ‘Projib‘ Ang to go to town with it.) Now you speak better than Umno arseholes. Congratulations!

You think the Chinese are very convenient for your politics? Is it? How much did Najib Cash-is-King Razak pay you to say those things? How many Ministers and how many MP seats are waiting for you? How many billions?

We, the Chinese in Malaysia, are so stupid we want to learn some new Malay words. Best if you teach us in front of your kids, your wife, Najib Razak, better still in front of all your Malay constituents. How do you say in Malay that I, Hadi Awang, is the Grand Sheikh Motherfucker….

*

and Dear, Dear Rafizi Ramli,

Look at that man Hadi Awang, the same man you say you need — his support, his power, his influence, his votes, his members, even his dick. Look again Rafizi! What a picture of piousness, goatee, purity, all white, white frock, white turban, scholarly even, a real Tok Guru, so enlightened it seems in the ways of Islam. Yet, in the end, again and again, he shows to be nothing more than a fucking racist.

And this is the sort of people, his kind of people, that you say you’ll make deals with, that you want to rub hands, like he rubs his dick on Najib’s arse.

Which means what, do you know, Rafizi? Hadi becomes a Najib and you become a Hadi, each one becoming an echo board of the other.

So, is that how everything will, eventually, come down to in the end? Being ‘Malay-centric’ in Pakatan’s policies, in PKR?

What if this — Hadi’s point that the Chinese control everything — is the central Malay concern and which you spend days on Twitter pontificating and which you blow your mind over? Is this how eventually you shall be speaking in the kampung, to the Malays? Because, clever as you’re, this is what Hadi’s people, like Umno’s, want to hear — the Chinese are greedy pigs. If so, is this how you, Rafizi, will therefore address their ‘concerns’ and their ‘fears’? So you’ll therefore speak like Hadi? Speak like Najib?

Strange, why do we, the Chinese, have this sneaking suspicion you just might.

You know Rafizi: Fuck you, too. You and every motherfucking PKR politician can all fuck off. The deal is off. Let Najib cut off your balls and nail them onto your bedroom wall…. We don’t fucking care!

 

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